What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

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Tuesday treated us to one afternoon game, but it wasn’t very competitive. The Blue Jays beat up on Phillies rookie Zach Eflin, pounding him for eight runs and chasing him out of the game in the third inning. They went on to win 11-3.

As a bookend, the Marlins-Padres game starts at 10:10 PM EDT tonight, featuring starters Tom Koehler and Drew Pomeranz. Normally, a Marlins-Padres game wouldn’t score highly on the interest-o-meter, but Pomeranz has quietly had himself a season. The lefty enters Tuesday’s action with a meager 5-6 record but a sterling 2.44 ERA and an 83/32 K/BB ratio in 70 innings spanning 12 starts.

While it’s true that Pomeranz hasn’t exactly shown the best control — he has the fifth-highest walk rate among qualified starters at 11.2 percent — he has also been missing bats way more often than he had been previously in his career. His 28.9 percent K-rate is seventh best among qualified starters, trailing only Jose Fernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Noah Syndergaard, and Danny Salazar. Pomeranz has maxed out at 22 starts in a season, back in 2009, and had been used as a swing man in the three following seasons. Still, this is easily the best pitching performance of his career.

Perhaps the talent was just hidden all this time, as he spent the first three seasons of his major league career pitching at Coors Field, which has a tendency to send pitchers’ ERAs into the sky. Then he went to the Athletics, who moved him in and out of the rotation, letting him start 19 games and serve as a reliever in 54 games. Now pitching half his games at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park in an established role, the 27-year-old now has a chance to shine.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Chicago Cubs (John Lackey) @ Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), 7:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 7:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan) @ Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran), 7:10 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon) @ New York Mets (Jacob deGrom), 7:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 7:10 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann) @ Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez), 8:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin) @ Kansas City Royals (Chris Young), 8:15 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Doug Fister) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Jaime Garcia), 8:15 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Nathan Eovaldi) @ Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa), 8:40 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley), 9:40 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin), 10:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp), 10:05 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza) @ San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner), 10:15 PM EDT

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.